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Wed Dec 14, 2016, 04:33 PM

William Binney, Ray McGovern and Other Intel Experts Call Russian Hacking Allegations Baseless

This is an open letter, so they intended it posted in full.

If there is some stronger evidence that they overlooked, please post it at the end.

It sounds like the Trump campaign did have contact with Russia, and given the various October Surprises like Nixon in '68 and Reagan in '80, that should still be investigated (the way those weren't).

In a letter published on Consortium News regarding claims that Russia interfered in the recent U.S. elections, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity penned a powerful rebuke of the narrative being spread. Signed by retired intelligence officials William Binney, Mike Gravel, Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Elizabeth Murray and Kirk Wiebe, the memorandum offered a bold rethinking of the alleged “hack” because “given what we know of [the National Security Agency’s] existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone—Russian or not—attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

MEMORANDUM

Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking—by Russians or anyone else.

Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay.

In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience—with emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security—to cut through uninformed, largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we merit—given our long labors in government and other areas of technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is—without fear or favor.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it—and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data—on a thumb drive, for example—the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

Awesome Technical Capabilities

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC)—or any other server in the U.S.—is collected by the NSA. These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to be reassembled at the receiving end.

To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the network to route data.

When email packets leave the U.S., the other “Five Eyes” countries (the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email packets went after leaving the U.S.

These collection resources are extensive [see attached NSA slides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; they include hundreds of trace route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and traceable by all these resources.

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating—saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc.—shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider—as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone—Russian or not—attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/william_binney_ray_mcgovern_intel_experts_russia_hacking_20161213

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply William Binney, Ray McGovern and Other Intel Experts Call Russian Hacking Allegations Baseless (Original post)
yurbud Dec 2016 OP
rzemanfl Dec 2016 #1
emulatorloo Dec 2016 #9
still_one Dec 2016 #2
yurbud Dec 2016 #4
Denzil_DC Dec 2016 #5
The_Casual_Observer Dec 2016 #3
hurple Dec 2016 #6
GeorgeGist Dec 2016 #7
emulatorloo Dec 2016 #8
yodermon Dec 2016 #10
duffyduff Dec 2016 #11
BainsBane Dec 2016 #12
think Dec 2016 #14
BainsBane Dec 2016 #15
Nitram Dec 2016 #13

Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:00 PM

1. Sound like swiftboating to me. We're supposed to believe the gang of twelve got

together to have smoke blown up their asses?

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)


Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:11 PM

2. Ray McGovern is one of the most virulent anti-Clinton, pro-Julian Assange, along with

William Binney, and those other cast of characters in that list



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Response to still_one (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:21 PM

4. how's his track record on being right about government lies and propaganda?

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Response to still_one (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:37 PM

5. And Larry Johnson ...

Really? Larry "Whitey tape" Johnson?

Not an impressive lineup, for sure.

ETA (from the Wikipedia article in the link above):

Founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Johnson is a founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.[34] In September 2015, Johnson and 27 other members of VIPS steering group wrote a letter to the President challenging a recently published book, that claimed to rebut the report of the United States Senate Intelligence Committee on the Central Intelligence Agency's use of torture.


OTOH, VIPS was right on Iraqi WMD, so broken clocks and all that. OTOOH, it claimed an Israeli attack on Iran was "imminent" in 2010.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:17 PM

3. If this simple minded excuse were true and the NSA

Knew everything, then why is it impossible for them to even figure out where the bit coins go to pay ransom.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:40 PM

6. um...

this report is full of $h!t

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:47 PM

7. Horseshit with frosting.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:21 PM

8. This is a great report for naive and gullible people. Smells like bullshit though.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:23 PM

10. Podesta was LITERALLY PHISHED by RUSSIA.

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/34899

the bitly link he clicked on went to a FancyBear Russian hacking site where he typed in his password. (D'oh.)

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:31 PM

11. Larry Johnson? Of "No Quarter"? LOL!!!!!!

 

n/t

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 09:25 PM

12. If they're retired, they don't have access to the intelligence

So they cant possibly claim to know.

It's truly reprehensible how these party hacks so easily sacrifice national security. The GOP has become a party of traitors.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 15, 2016, 12:20 PM

14. William Binney & Kirk Weibe aren't partisan hacks. They are NSA whisleblowers from 2002

 

William Binney (U.S. intelligence official)

~Snip~

In September 2002, he, along with J. Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, asked the U.S. Defense Department Inspector General (DoD IG) to investigate the NSA for allegedly wasting "millions and millions of dollars" on Trailblazer, a system intended to analyze mass collection of data carried on communications networks such as the Internet. Binney had been one of the inventors of an alternative system, ThinThread, which was shelved when Trailblazer was chosen instead. Binney has also been publicly critical of the NSA for spying on U.S. citizens, saying of its expanded surveillance after the September 11, 2001 attacks that "it's better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had"[10] as well as noting Trailblazer's ineffectiveness and unjustified high cost compared to the far less intrusive ThinThread.[11] He was furious that the NSA hadn't uncovered the 9/11 plot and stated that intercepts it had collected but not analyzed likely would have garnered timely attention with his leaner more focused system.[8]

Read more at Wikileaks. ( A Google URL shortener was used due to problems with the original link.)

https://goo.gl/i1rSTO

Original link which is broken:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official)#Whistleblowing


William Binney was considered one of the best analysts in NSA history . I wouldn't dismiss him or the others so readily...


Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as a Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart.[6] Binney's NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. Having expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability),[7] Binney has been described as one of the best analysts in the NSA's history.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official)#Biography


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Response to think (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 15, 2016, 12:34 PM

15. My point stands

There is nothing substantive in that piece. And the fact is without access to intelligence, they can't possibly claim to know the facts.

People here held up Assange as a whistle blower hero too, to the extent they insisted he shouldn't have to abide by a valid arrest warrant for rape. Now it turns out he is a tool of Putin and working to install far right wing governments throughout the world. I know that does nothing to deter him in the eyes of some, but I myself don't happen to be a fan of white nationalism.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Thu Dec 15, 2016, 12:08 PM

13. Undiluted B.S.

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